EQT-backed Cast & Crew buys Sargent-Disc

Sargent-Disc is the premier UK and international provider of film and television payroll, accounting, software and services.

Cast & Crew, which is backed by EQT, has acquired UK-based Sargent-Disc, a provider of film and television payroll, accounting, software and services. No financial terms were disclosed.


BURBANK, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Cast & Crew, a leading provider of software and services for the entertainment production industry, has acquired UK-based Sargent-Disc, as announced by Eric Belcher, Chief Executive Officer. Sargent-Disc is the premier UK and international provider of film and television payroll, accounting, software and services. The acquisition aligns with Cast & Crew’s strategic vision to be the end-to-end global provider of software and payroll services for motion pictures, television, live events, commercials and music tours, providing best-in-class customer service to the entertainment industry. This marks the fifth strategic acquisition by Cast & Crew in the last four years – and its first under new private equity sponsor EQT.

Sargent-Disc, the UK’s market leader for production payroll and residuals, offers an integrated range of solutions to the entertainment industries, including production accounting and production services. These are complimented by its Digital Production Office® suite of software solutions including CrewStart™, Digital Purchase Order and the SD Production Card – designed to improve efficiencies and reduce carbon emissions on production. For over 33 years, the award-winning company has established many long-standing relationships within the entertainment sphere across Europe and the rest of the world as a result of its focus on technology and excellent customer service.

“The addition of Sargent-Disc to the Cast & Crew family marks an important milestone in our company’s history as we enter the UK and various international markets,” said Eric Belcher, Chief Executive Officer of Cast & Crew. “Sargent-Disc is a family-owned company with integrity, expertise and an excellent reputation for customer service and cutting-edge solutions tailored to UK and international productions. Not only are we excited about the commercial prospects, but we truly value our alignment with Sargent-Disc in terms of our shared values, corporate culture and vision for the rapid technological transformation of our industry.”

Sargent-Disc will continue to function under its own brand with its current staff based at its headquarters in Beaconsfield, UK. Laurence Sargent and Lara Sargent will continue to oversee the operations of Sargent-Disc and lead international growth efforts for the combined company.

“We are delighted to be joining forces with Cast & Crew. Their payroll, digital products and residuals have been at the forefront of industry innovation and we are looking forward to driving the international expansion of Cast & Crew,” says Lara Sargent. Dr. Laurence Sargent adds, “Our ethos and strategies are well aligned, and this deal provides us with an opportunity to better support the needs of our clients through the complexities of international production. Our combined cultures and focus on customer service excellence will enhance our ability to deliver innovative Digital Production Office® solutions – providing our clients with an unparalleled suite of services.”

For Cast & Crew, the transaction marks an important addition to the ongoing acquisitions of market leaders in payroll and production software and services, including CAPS, Final Draft, Critique and Checks & Balances. Cast & Crew is excited to welcome the talented Sargent-Disc team to its combined company.

With the support of parent company, EQT, this acquisition further solidifies the company’s position as market leader. “Cast & Crew mobilised quickly after closing the sale with us and aligned as a team on the long-term strategic vision for the combined company. A critical component of the growth plan is international expansion and the acquisition of Sargent-Disc and partnership with the Sargent family was the perfect way to accelerate the overall strategy,” added Kasper Knokgaard, Partner of EQT.

The terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Cast & Crew was represented by the law firm of Latham & Watkins, LLP. Sargent-Disc was represented by Harbottle & Lewis LLP.

Cast & Crew Entertainment Services, LLC (www.castandcrew.com) provides technology-enabled payroll and human resources, accounting and financial, and workflow and productivity software and services to the entertainment industry. Cast & Crew services include payroll processing, residuals processing, workers’ compensation services, labor relations, production incentives and production tax credit financing. Cast & Crew PSL+ production accounting software serves the needs of the film, television and digital media industries. The company was founded in 1976 and its corporate headquarters are in Burbank, California.

EQT is a leading investment firm with approximately EUR 50 billion in raised capital across 27 funds. EQT funds have portfolio companies in Europe, Asia and the US with total sales of more than EUR 19 billion and approximately 110,000 employees. EQT works with portfolio companies to achieve sustainable growth, operational excellence and market leadership.

Sargent-Disc has been at the centre of the British entertainment industries since 1986. Based in Beaconsfield, UK, the family business was founded by John and Marija Sargent. Specialising in production payroll, residuals, accounting and software services it is now run by brother and sister team Lara and Laurence Sargent. The company remains focused on service excellence and the development of innovative Digital Production Office® technology solutions that simplify production workflows and take the paper out of production. Sargent-Disc is an independently verified carbon neutral company and its processes are ISO:27001:2013 certified.